Don't look for Jim Carrey to promote his "Kick-Ass 2."
The "Bruce Almighty" star has taken to Twitter to distance himself from Aug. 16's sequel because Carrey said that he "cannot support that level of violence" in the wake of the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre, in which 20 children and six educators were slain last December.
"I am not ashamed of it but recent events have caused a change in my heart," Carrey said of "Kick-Ass 2" through his official Twitter account.
Carrey's backpedaling — the actor said he filmed his "Kick-Ass" role of Col. Stars and Stripes a month before the school shooting — prompted an irritated and lengthy online rejoinder from Mark Millar, the writer of the "Kick-Ass" comic books and an executive producer on the Universal Studios sequel.
"As you may know, Jim is a passionate advocate of gun-control and I respect both his politics and his opinion, but I'm baffled by this sudden announcement as nothing seen in this picture wasn't in the screenplay eighteen months ago," Millar wrote on his blog. "Yes, the body-count is very high, but a movie called 'Kick-Ass 2' really has to do what it says on the tin."
Millar noted that Carrey's character is a born-again Christian and doesn't shoot a gun, part of what the comic book creator said attracted the actor to the role.
Carrey's character is a blend of Col. Stars and Lt. Stripes from Millar's book, who turn to vigilantism after being criminals. The first film, released in spring 2010, was mildly successful at the box office, grossing more than $96 million worldwide. It was rated R for "strong brutal violence throughout, pervasive language, sexual content, nudity and some drug use -- some involving children."
The sequel also has been rated R for "strong violence, pervasive language, crude and sexual content, and brief nudity."
"Like Jim, I'm horrified by real-life violence (even though I'm Scottish), but 'Kick-Ass 2' isn't a documentary. No actors were harmed in the making of this production!," Millar wrote. "This is fiction and like Tarantino and Peckinpah, Scorcese (sic) and Eastwood, John Boorman, Oliver Stone and Chan-Wook Park, 'Kick-Ass' avoids the usual bloodless body-count of most big summer pictures and focuses instead of the CONSEQUENCES of violence, whether it's the ramifications for friends and family or, as we saw in the first movie, Kick-Ass spending six months in hospital after his first street altercation….
"Ultimately, this is his decision, but I've never quite bought the notion that violence in fiction leads to violence in real-life any more than Harry Potter casting a spell creates more Boy Wizards in real-life. Our job as storytellers is to entertain and our toolbox can't be sabotaged by curtailing the use of guns in an action-movie…."
"'Kick-Ass 2' is fictional fun so let's focus our ire instead of [sic] the real-life violence going on in the world like the war in Afghanistan, the alarming tension in Syria right now and the fact that Superman just snapped a guy's … neck."
Carrey had expressed reservations about movie violence earlier in the year, when he was promoting "The Incredible Burt Wonderstone."
"[M]y character is a guy that came from a violent background who is trying to turn it around and he uses a gun with no bullets in it. These are things I am considering now because I just feel like we don't cause the problem, but we don't help it much either," he told MTV News.
Universal declined to comment.